Garbage card game rules

The garbage card game, just as the name suggests, is a card game played by two or multiple players. The game requires only two essentials for it to be played, which are the cards and the players. The number of players will determine the number of deck cards used. For two players one 52 deck card is used; for three to four players two decks are used; and a three-deck card is used for five or more players. The aim of the game is to be the first person to have a complete layout of the cards.

The objective of the garbage card game

The main objective of the garbage game is to have the first player complete the full sequence of cards, which is from Ace to ten, where the Ace card represents digit one. The game starts off by the dealer shuffling the cards and issuing a set of 10 cards to each player. The cards are all issued face down and all players are prohibited from looking at their cards. The cards remaining are then kept face-down at the centre to create a deck or heap where players draw from, hence the name garbage card game.

Instructions of the garbage card game

The garbage card game begins when all players receive 10 cards each. The players have to lay out all their cards in one row of ten cards or two rows of five cards each. Remember, the game aims to have the first player win with all the face-up cards laid out in a sequential manner from ace to ten. The correct order of the cards is as follows: A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. The game is played in a clockwise manner, meaning the player on the immediate left of the dealer starts off the game.

How to play the garbage card game

The first player draws the top layered card from the garbage heap. The card number picked will determine the position the card is placed in in the initial card layout. For instance, if a player draws card number four, the card will be placed face-up in the fourth position of the layout. Then the replaced face-down card will be turned over and moved to its correct position; for example, if the face-down card is a nine, it will be placed on the ninth position of the layout. This game continues until an unplayable card is picked.

Playing the garbage card game

The first player after drawing the pip card (A-10) from the pile will continue replacing the available cards in the layouts until he/she cannot find a card to replace or if they find a similar card number to the face-up card laid out. Wild cards such as jacks, kings, and queens indicate the end of a player’s turn. If these cards are drawn, they are placed face-up in a secondary heap known as the discard pile. The second player now gets their chance to play by drawing the top card from the face-down stack or discard pile.

Rules of play to note

Note that the second or subsequent player can draw a card from either the face-down pile or discard pile (unplayable cards dropped off by the other players). He/she can pick from the discard pile if the top card corresponds to a particular location in the layout. The player then places the card face-up in the right position and the displaced face-down card is moved accordingly to the correct position of the layout if available. The player continues playing the game until they find an unplayable card, which is then added to the discard pile, and their turn ends.

Wild cards

Wild cards in the garbage game include jacks, kings, and queens. The wild cards drawn from the middle face-down stock can replace any card from the layout. The replaced face-down card in the layout is moved subsequently to its correct position. If a pip card location is occupied by a wild card, the wild card is displaced and can be placed on any other face-down card location; for example, if the player turns up a five and the fifth location has been occupied by the wild card, the wild card is displaced and the five occupies that location.

The first round of the game is completed when the first player wins and gets their cards face-up in the order of ace to ten. All cards are shuffled again for a second round and the winner of the first game is given nine cards instead of ten, while the rest of the players are all given ten cards. This means the first winner will only have to clear cards from ace to nine and the game is played until a player is down to one card, which they win by replacing with an ace or wild card.

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